170. “No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord” (John 10:18).
This is what servant leadership is all about–laying down one’s life BY CHOICE. I’ve met pastors whose necessary sacrifice came without their full cooperation. They were mistreated, overlooked, abused, lied about, and even sent packing by the misdeeds of others. And in their hurt, they decide that they have laid their lives down. Yes, they have entered a profession where such episodes are sadly common, but Jesus isn’t speaking of mistreatment alone. Instead, He says that His sacrifice was entered into wilfully BY HIM. In other words, he walked toward the burning building. He knew what would happen and did nothing to prevent it. He knew the bigger picture and willingly played the tragic role. Only when we engage suffering that we could have side-stepped do we understand the path of His leadership.